tv Headline News RT May 21, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT
coming up on r t a path of destruction remains after a massive tornado touches down in oklahoma from schools and hospitals to hundreds of homes little of the town escape the wrath of a storm we'll have an update on the recovery from the hard hit area and the associated press see calls the department of justice phone records subpoena unconstitutional he wants the obama administration to rein in the attorney general will have more on the concerns over the government threatening the stability of free press. and he found a security gap and eighty's website and was rewarded with a forty one month sentence as a result now he's in solitary confinement for tweeting about the conditions from within the jail we'll speak to andrew armin hires a lawyer later in the show. it's
tuesday may twenty fifth first five pm in washington d.c. i'm meghan lopez and you are watching r t well we begin this hour with the latest developments coming out of oklahoma the massive tornado that touched down yesterday afternoon was estimated to be about a mile and a half wide and it was an e.f. five with winds around two hundred miles per hour that's according to the latest estimates from the national weather service the hardest hit area is the city of moore located just southwest of oklahoma city right in the heart of tornado alley. point hundreds of homes and two elementary schools fell in the tornado's path of destruction search and rescue crews worked through the night and into today they're going block by block building by building
searching for signs of life right now local authorities have confirmed that twenty four people are dead including nine children and around two hundred thirty seven people were injured president obama declared a federal disaster zone in five oklahoma counties this is the most destructive tornado to hit that region since one thousand nine hundred nine that one left thirty six people in oklahoma city dead and cost over one billion dollars in damages for a look at the path of financial destruction that monday's are tornado actually left are key correspondent margaret how reports. here at r.t. we're tracking the situation in moore oklahoma as it continues to develop and here's what we know so far one point three and a half miles that's how wide the base of the storm that ripped through moore oklahoma measured in depth on monday now to put that into perspective that's equivalent roughly to the size of twenty three standard size football fields now that we know the size of the storm how about its strength will that leads me to our
next number five e.f. five to be exact according to the good hands fujita scale a system that rates tornadoes based on the damage they cause this storm was fast enough to rip through moore picking up cars like toy trucks now most tornadoes are approximately thirty five miles an hour but according to experts the storm that hit moore hit speeds of at least two hundred miles an hour that's up a revised one sixty six to two hundred miles an hour e.f. five stay near the ground for an extended period of time and this tornado first touched down at two fifty six pm in newcastle oklahoma and it crawled twenty miles toward the town of moore taking over forty minutes ripping up entire neighborhoods and elementary schools lastly that brings me to this number sixteen sixteen minutes that's how long the residents of moore heard the sounds of warning sirens designed to help them get out of harm's way is sixteen minutes enough time to prepare and
react to a storm of this size what else if anything could have been done to adequately prepare more from this violent storm and it's estimated that fewer than ten percent of homes in moore had underground storm shelters for those who heard the warning the options for adequate shelter may have been limited. so did these people have a fighting chance to escape the tragedy all that remains to be seen in washington margaret held r.t. meanwhile lawmakers on capitol hill ponce for a moment of silence today to honor the victims that died in oklahoma's massive tornado but right after that momentary pause it was politics as usual with an austerity climate settling over the beltway during the last few years money is tight in d.c. as president obama mentioned in his address earlier today when disasters like this happen those affected will undoubtedly need a lot of help from the federal government in order to get back on their feet but as we've seen with previous disasters be it hurricane sandy or the tornadoes in joplin
two years ago some lawmakers actually want strings attached to disaster relief in the federal government and that disaster relief that they hand out political commentator sam sacks explains the city looks like it was wiped out by an atomic bomb the hospital it looks like the site of a hollywood disaster movie the coming days weeks months years where the people of moore oklahoma will need most is money federal disaster relief funding and here's president obama making the case as a nation our full focus right now is on the urgent work of rescue and the hard work of recovery and rebuilding that lies ahead yesterday i spoke with governor fallin to make it clear to oklahomans that they would have all the resources that they need at their disposal oklahoma needs to get everything that it needs right away. now on monday the president declared
a federal disaster for oklahoma giving those affected by the tornadoes a financial lifeline from the federal emergency management agency fema now which has been funneling money into the northeast to help rebuild after hurricane sandy has thirteen billion dollars left in its disaster funds to last the rest of fiscal year two thousand and thirteen but any additional federal funding that citizens of more may need will have to go through congress which has recently taken a new approach to disaster relief now historically federal disaster relief has never been offset by spending cuts elsewhere for example after hurricane katrina congress came together and passed over one hundred billion dollars in federal aid for new orleans and surrounding areas none of it was offset by spending cuts but already oklahoma senator tom coburn is saying that any disaster relief for his home state after these tornadoes should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget and we're talking about spending cuts we're talking about long political
battles which don't drive well during disasters when people need help right away house majority leader eric cantor played the same game when disaster funds were needed after tornadoes leveled joplin missouri. because families don't have unlimited money and really need the federal government but there's no question there's a federal role here to play congress will find the money it will be all those offset efforts ultimately failed or public think congress tried it again after hurricane sandy in fact both oklahoma senators tom coburn and james inhofe worked hard to slash federal aid funds for hurricane sandy victims down to just twenty three billion dollars about thirty percent of what was requested by affected states but again those efforts failed when republicans in congress are rebuked by one of their own new jersey governor chris christie. for the victims of sandy of new jersey new york and connecticut it's been sixty six days. in the way he considers.
there's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims the house majority and there's joy being so here we are again another disaster another debate brewing over to disaster relief with republican lawmakers including lawmakers from oklahoma suggesting that the whole disaster relief hostage until they get some austerity elsewhere and all indications are with a plan to rapidly warming that massive deadly tornadoes were not only happen again but happened with greater frequency so if centers suddenly want to rewrite the rules about federal disaster relief and they sure picked the most dangerous time to do it in washington same socks are to well in the wake of this tornado president obama has taken the opportunity to turn the public's attention away from d.c. scandal and toward recovery efforts all this while he's weathering a political storm of his own that has actually hit his own his administration in recent weeks but associated press president gary pruitt is now demanding for the
president to rein in the department of justice and what he described as not only unconstitutional but damaging to the idea of free press i don't know what their motive is but i can tell you their actions are unconstitutional we don't question their right to conduct these sort of investigations we just think they went about it the wrong way so sweeping so secretively so abusively and harassing really an overbroad now pro went on to say that a.p. is already experiencing a chilling effect with potential sources and regular interviewees who are now hasn't to speak with this news agency but not everyone agrees that journalists have the right to hide under the auspices of press freedom to discuss more i was joined earlier by walter pincus he's a national security reporter for the washington post and he gave me his take on the d.o.j. as recent actions against journalists. well i think they're doing work to some degree they're supposed to do when it's
a leak in court information and that is try to find out the people who in effect broke the law by giving up centrally is highly classified information strictly in this case in the midst of. an operation going on in yemen while it was still going on and. now we're out of national security fraud enough to justify the d.o.j. obtaining phone records or in the case of fox news white house correspondent james rosen tracking his whereabouts in your opinion well there are two things involved in these two cases in the in the first case in the a.p. case they have in this to gauge it for all more than eight months and under department guidelines they have to pretty well exhaust all other avenues before they turn to reporters and try to find out who their sources. of
going for phone records are there's a supreme court case that says. this just department has a perfect right and is not invading privacy but subpoenaing phone records from phone companies. under our law. here is. the bunk of these third party it is not invading privacy of the individual and in this case they were just getting phone numbers that were getting the content of the phone calls so that. journalists in some ways feel like every other citizen. and if. they know about a crime or. are a witness to a crime which in the case of a leak of classified information to some degree they are like those are citizens they go to one come forward and testify or in the case of journalists if they want
to protect their sources and they just don't answer the questions now here is greg leslie he's a legal defense and a director for reporters committee for freedom of the press and he actually says that the o'jays actions against rosen or worse off than those that were actually taken against a.p. take a listen to this i think it's more troubling simply for that fact that they used a search warrant to get very personal information they didn't just want to see who he was calling but they wanted to read all the e-mail and to do that more easily they decided to treat him like and a coconspirator someone who is engaged in the conspiracy to violate the espionage statute and that's our ages they they took an extra step i guess beyond what we were outraged about last week so i have to ask you what do you think of this james rosen case well i think it is it's said it was
a next step but it was taken in my understanding by going to a judge and explaining why they want to do it in fact of the matter is. all night i don't know the exact facts. you have to understand they're trying to make a case against person who essentially violated a law in which all of the reporter as i said before is a witness and. as happens to every other citizen. what was done to rosen would be done in the gordon course of events. within those it should have. and i think without again knowing facts of the case they probably exhausted all their other sources. in order to do this now
mr pinkas the hero are a seasoned journalists out looking at the affidavit of james rosen some actions he we would characterize as investigative journalism like talking to sources and talking taking are trying to control them into actually talking are being viewed as criminal can investigative journalism be criminal and in this case or in your opinion in general were if a line drawn here well first base let me tell you i have a lot of members so i've looked into this a fair amount of time and i think. what appears and again it's only from what i've read that he. didn't do anything seriously to protect a source. he apparently thai. experience
e-mails he apparently. they both left the state department building roughly the same time came back roughly the same time through the same intruder a very you know you're giving up your right or privacy the idea that nobody should know where you go what you're doing when you're in an adequate government building . and then he wrote a story two hours later but at the same time let's go back to two this a.p. records it takes a lot of reporters and those in a.p. and beyond are saying that because the d.o.j. is going after journalists it is having a chilling effect on the way that they conduct their investigations on the people who talk to them as a journalist do you think that that isn't a valid argument no why not they've been talking about chilling effect of government and distributing well reduce since water and i've been doing this for
forty years. i think the thing you have to worry about is all the talk about shirley i mean we went through this the bush administration. in which i resigned it pretty content on a and also caught up with subpoenas and the valerie plame shit. oh. it didn't chill who ever again which is highly sensitive information. to the a.p. correspondent a listener months ago. so. the press has been yelling chilling effects you know for dozens or decades. and very few people want to leak information. walter pincus a national security reporter for the washington post thank you so much for your time sir you're welcome on that was the case of the self-proclaimed hacker and
troll andrew arnheim are known to the digital world as we've has a twenty seven year old who was sentenced to forty one months in federal prison for discovering a security flaw on eighty's went site and then he released the personal data of some one hundred fourteen thousand i pad users to gawker but even his prison bars haven't been able to stop this computer whiz from staying on the internet that is until now during his first weeks in prison andrew had found a way to tweet about his conditions through a friend he also posted recordings to his sound cloud account talking about his experience from behind bars but when president specials discovered what he was doing they put andrew in administrate of segregation making it difficult for even his lawyer to get in contact with him and you are in homer's lawyer is tor eklund and he actually joined me earlier today to talk about andrew's condition in depth well seems like he's a fairly decent spirits for what they've done to him especially right now they're
holding him in roughly ten by turns with one other cell mate he's allowed out three times a week for fifteen minutes to take a shower and then he's back in there he's been cut off from all phone contact he's got extremely limited snail mail contact. so i mean he's almost in solitary confinement but but not not quite and through any indication if his tweets if his ways of reaching out to the internet using his first amendment rights were the reasons that he was put behind bars. i think that's absolutely the reason when i talked to him you know i asked and you know just getting the fire it's did you cause any problems and he said no basically what he got told is that when he first got into prison they sort of pulled put him in a holding prison in brooklyn and there's this federal prison email system called
truly and he was using that to send out tweets and then they cut that off all of a sudden and then he to help so set up a way where he could call out using his phone privileges and leave recorded messages on the internet on sound cloud and they specifically told him that he was being disciplined and put under investigation for his tweeting and his sound cloud recordings and that that somehow that that was to the general prison population now for those of us who don't have any experience really in the jail and prison system what are the first amendment rights that we know of that prisoners actually have we do know for instance that they and many say they are not allowed to vote what about first amendment rights what you generally keep your first amendment rights in prison i mean there's a lot of prisoners that publish from prison i mean there's prisoners like publishing nazi propaganda anti abortion publications out of out of prison
the only way that they can legitimately curtail your first amendment rights in prison if it's related to what's called a legitimate pain a logical interest aka the safety of the general population or they can stop you if you're trying to you know commit some sort of crime in the outsider or call out hits but none of that is happening here i think basically what they're they're doing is they're they're they're throwing him an admin segregation because they don't like his speech now a lot of this case and cuttin sentence seem to be affected by your client's perceived attitude problem for instance he was tweeting from the courtroom he. call the judge profanities on the internet he expressed no remorse for what he had done and that was actually the night before he was sentence he actually said to his fans on write it that the next time he was not going to be quote nearly as nice when he does something now the minimum punishment for his offense is thirty three months he actually got forty one months is that justifiable given the things that i had just
mentioned. i think actually the judge had a wide range of sentencing and i don't think it's made of sense was it was thirty three months i think you're looking at the sensing report but i don't find it justified i think really what's happening is he's being punished for being who he is which is an unpopular defend it with you know unpopular views which i don't necessarily agree with i don't adore says views but you know i represent him as to the law and not what he's saying and frankly quite often i just ignore what he's written but you know you've got a lot of people who've committed like government corruption or have lied to the f.b.i. about murderers or whatnot who are doing a lot less time and we need to remember that this is such a victimless crime well anybody want to ask you about we don't have too much time left but a lot of people are arguing that we've never committed a crime in the first place so he was charged under the computer fraud and abuse act
for essentially not following the terms and conditions of a santis web site but the play devil's advocate here he did leak all that information to gawker and in this environment were all kinds of leakers are being charged do you think that this attitude toward leakers is the reason that he actually was charged. i think they charged him because they just found him reprehensible and their worldview they considered him somehow a threat to the republic i don't even think that what he did was illegal i think the law is terrible even written in horribly vague and i'm not alone in that view i was tarek when attorney for andrew arnheim or. meanwhile hundreds of low wage workers and federal contractors walked off the job and marched on d.c. today the workers are demanding for president obama to sign legislation requiring federal contractors to pay higher wages the strike was organized by the group called good jobs nation the campaign represents people who work at loading docks
memorabilia shops food courts as at federal buildings and more right now minimum wage in the d.c. area is about a twenty five an hour workers want the president to guarantee the cost of living wages which experts estimate to be nearly twelve dollars an hour now around the nation the minimum wage is even lower than in d.c. thirty one states have actually have their minimum wage set at seven twenty five an hour including wisconsin south dakota and delaware this strike actually comes on the heels of a massive fast food workers strike that happened earlier this month employees from mcdonald's wendy's subway little caesars pies and jimmy johns all walked off the job in detroit st louis chicago and new york to demand fifteen dollars an hour in wages according to the good jobs nation campaign website mcdonald's has created six hundred thousand low wage jobs wal-mart employs one hundred thousand the wage workers and the u.s.
government hires the most with over two million low wage jobs created but while the president boasts of economic recovery millions say that even with these jobs they aren't making enough. well for those of you who are sick of dollars and try to make sense of the economy there's a new currency in the works bitcoin is the digital crypto currency that has stunned the markets and garner the attention of the government is now worth more than one billion dollars but this payment method isn't without its critics just last week the department of homeland security actually closed mt gox that is a system people use to exchange bit coins into legal tender like dollars or vice versa the shutdown of mt gox has also created a divide within the bitcoin community itself should the currency actually try to become more legitimate in the eyes of the government by jumping through regulatory hoops or should it steer toward the original mission of anonymity well our financial team prime interest was actually in san jose at the mchenry convention
center for the bitcoin two thousand and thirteen conference and prime interest producer bob inglis joins me now with more yes hi there bob thank you so much for joining me so let's start off by talking about this this is mt mt. gox controversy what have your interest like to clarify they're still up and running but what the what the department of homeland security investigator did was they shut down one of their bank accounts and seized it and what mo does is it's an interface in the bitcoin world between the payment system of u.s. dollars and euros in australian dollars and bitcoin so if you want to get some bitcoins and you have currency that's one way that you can get them is through this exchange the feds came in and they basically shut it down because they said they were not registered as a money transfer agent. the president filled out the little forms for wells fargo in north carolina just didn't check the books that bodes for the rest of the
community is if you're not properly registered you're just not going to be able to operate your similar exchange and there are several other computer competing exchanges are and let's talk about this divide within the bit quiet community that i. had mentioned earlier can you set up the two sides for me well i don't know if it's so much of a divide but there are the early adopters who are very enthusiastic about bitcoins in now that it's gained popularity you have people coming in private equity groups venture capitalists and there's a lot of money to be made and so that sometimes it's a little bit suspicious when somebody comes in perhaps and with a ten million dollars and says i want to throw this at a project but everybody's actually working together pretty closely at least from what i saw at the conference everybody there was enthusiastic that we were there for instance from our t. covering it there was very little media presence in terms of television so i would say overall it was very very warm welcome and i understand that this this company this bitcoin has actually gone through two steps forward one step forward two steps
back and numerous occasions do you think that there's going to be a splintering within the bitcoin community i think the problem that i think you're talking about is the volatility in the price itself and there have been a lot of a lot of gyrations the price went from just a few cents over a couple of years and then spiked up to two hundred fifty four dollars per bit coin then it crashed to fifty for an outside one hundred twenty five or something there and i think that's one of the major concerns and that's one of that is perhaps the achilles' heel of bitcoins in these crypto currencies is that they can either be manipulated or as they have the great price volatility to them well as we understand it also bitcoin is also has some competition one of them is rebel what are the differences between bitcoin and rebel and could ripple be a big competitor for bitcoin sure ripple is actually compatible with bitcoin but there are also a competitor bitcoin started out as a currency in kind of became a payment system ripple takes the opposite approach where it's a payment system and they're also going to have their own competing currency but
like i said ripple will be compatible with a multitude of digital currencies as well as real currencies and that's one of the groups that i said was a little bit controversial because unlike bitcoins. which are mind over time and there is going to be a fixed limit this ripple currency is going to have a fixed limit too but it's all mind up front it's all issued upfront and the retaining fifty percent of it for themselves and to pay out developers and what you would expect a business has to pay its bills right but that's causing a little bit of controversy within the big client community in the cryptocurrency community now let's talk about what it's going to take for a bit kind to become a more traditional currency and more widely accepted currency what are the regulatory regulatory hoops that it's going to have to jump through who is going to have to please and are the people willing to do that that was a major theme bitcoin gox people were very like hyper aware that there are going to have to comply with these new rules and they were very vigilant in telling us that they want to comply with these whatever regulations that they're going to have to
one currency exchange that competes with most gods in particular has registered successfully in thirty states so they're operating under the letter of the law and they want to continue to do that so in the future i think they're very concerned about having the proper representation on the hill and they're going to be legal as as best they can and let's talk about the mood of bitcoin two thousand and thirteen now the currency has gained so much attention and so much steam to people so you know as selling out this is after all things something that's run off of people's interest after all we have just a very short amount of time like i said the mood was very enthusiastic there was a comic book convention next door and so there was a you know spider-man was passing by superman was passed by everybody seems to love bitcoins. for douceur with the prime interest thank you so much for joining us and that's going to do it for now for more on the star as we cover go to youtube dot com slash r t america check out our website r t dot com slash usa and follow me on twitter at meghan underscore lopez see you're right back here at eight pm.
well. technology innovation all the developments around. the future are covered. welcome to the kaiser report i'm max kaiser longstanding data patterns broken down stock prices have soared even as bond spreads have declined corporate bond yields are falling while debt is rising yes down is the new up while ironically up is the new down so the pilots of the global economy in finance.